Warren Feeney remains silent on speculation linking him to Newport County post

Cliftonville's Chris Curran and Linfield's Niall Quinn battle for possession
Cliftonville's Chris Curran and Linfield's Niall Quinn battle for possession

If Linfield boss Warren Feeney departs for pastures new in the coming days, his last game at the Blues helm will live long in the memory.

Six goals, three red cards and a missed penalty provided plenty of headlines following a pulsating Danske Bank Premiership clash at Solitude.

Warren Feeney applauds the Linfield fans on Saturday

Warren Feeney applauds the Linfield fans on Saturday

It almost clawed the spotlight away from the simmering speculation linking Feeney with a move to Newport County.

Feeney has been given permission to speak with the English League Two side, who appointed John Sheridan as their new manager on Friday.

Sheridan is keen to bring the former Northern Ireland striker to Rodney Parade, which could bring to an end Feeney’s 16-month reign at Windsor Park.

It is believed Feeney will make a decision this week, but when pressed on the issue on Saturday he was remaining tight-lipped.

“I am committed to Linfield Football Club as manager, and that is all I have to say on the situation,” Feeney said.

“I am concentrating on managing Linfield. I will be in this week managing my club.

“I will be out on a boat fishing tomorrow and then working at Linfield on Monday.

“I am reading the papers, the same as you. Obviously the interest is flattering, but you can’t stop speculation. I see John (Sheridan) got the job yesterday, and he is a great guy. I worked with him at Plymouth.”

Two-nil up at the break with goals from Davy Kee and Mark Haughey, the Blues then conceded three unanswered goals as Cliftonville stormed back on Saturday.

Marty Donnelly and Caoimhin Bonner scored in the space of three minutes.

Linfield defender Sean Ward was sent off for a tackle on Chris Curran which resulted in Cliftonville’s penalty in the 72nd minute, but George McMullan’s spot-kick was saved by Ross Glendinning.

McMullan would redeem himself with a stunning goal three minutes later, the substitute teasing the Linfield defence before expertly lobbing Glendinning from the edge of the box.

The Reds had chances to put the result beyond doubt, but it was Linfield substitute Aaron Burns who found the net with a clinical equaliser eight minutes from time.

Eamonn Seydak was then dismissed for a second booking in injury time, while Bonner was also shown a red card following an incident near the tunnel after the match.

While Feeney’s future remains in doubt at Linfield, Cliftonville have their own managerial issues at present.

The north Belfast club is continuing its search to find a permanent successor to Tommy Breslin who resigned last month.

The club’s deadline for applications for the post closed on Friday, with Gerard Lyttle currently acting as interim boss.

Lyttle is hoping to land the role on a full-time basis, and Saturday’s stirring second half response will have done his chances no harm.

The 3-3 draw also stretches Lyttle’s unbeaten streak to four matches.

And club captain George McMullan believes Lyttle is the long-term choice for the Reds.

“Personally, I think he is the man for the job,” McMullan said. “He has been about the club the last few years. He is an ex-player and a fan, and he fits the bill.

“Tommy Breslin had a similar background, so hopefully the club will make a sensible choice.

“The managerial position has nothing to do with the players. Skin (Lyttle) has come in and knows all the boys. He has told us that he wants the job, and he wants the players to play for him.

“I think it has been evident over the past few games that we are fighting for him.

“So the players would like to see Skin installed.”